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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Poor, Poor, Poor Medtronic

Category: 2016
Posted: 05/19/15 13:37

by Dave Mindeman

Poor, poor, poor Medtronic. Still no ACA tax repeal. Things must be awful...

Medtronic PLC said its revenue jumped 60 percent to $7.3 billion in its February-to-April quarter, the first to include results from its giant acquisition of the Irish-based surgical supplier Covidien. That was better than analysts were expecting and executives told investors to expect a profit at the high end of its previous guidance. Medtronic shares rose 1.3 percent in afternoon trading.

Revenue jumped. Isn't that what the ACA supporters have been saying would happen with the ACA implementation....that the excise tax would be dwarfed by increased sales? Funny. That seems to be exactly what's happening.

Poor, poor Medtronic. There must be a way to spin this so that Rep. Erik Paulsen can take another speech to the floor and tell everybody how much you are suffering.

Gosh, you would think investors would be running away in droves.

But they are not.

Can you give it a rest Medtronic? And Paulsen?
comments (2) permalink

Tom Bakk Has To Go

Category: 2016
Posted: 05/16/15 13:59

by Dave Mindeman

I'll get myself into trouble here but then what else is new.

This budget fiasco is another prime example of how Minnesota Democrats are so adept at shooting themselves in the foot.

From the beginning, it seems, Gov. Dayton outlined a clear path of how he wanted to proceed on the budget. He declared his must have priorities and left no ambiguities.

However, Senator Bakk, the Senate Majority Leader, seemed to think that a track of his own was acceptable - and often moved forward on things without even consulting the governor's office.

In a session where Democrats should have clearly had the upper hand, the process chosen by Bakk has given the House Republicans a far greater voice then was necessary.

Democrats control 2/3rds of the legislative machinery. If the Democratic Senate majority leader would utilize the governor's office, which should be an ally, to leverage Democratic positions, the House GOP would be at a disadvantage.

But that leverage has not been utilized and three competing paths to a 2016 budget emerged.

Senator Bakk seems to have been acting as though the Governor's office was supposed to follow his lead, rather than the other way around. Bakk has never been a team player. He put the House in jeopardy in the 2014 cycle with a number of end game shenanigans....and placed his Senate office building as a priority above House policy actions.

I keep thinking of Roger Moe in regards to legislative power. Moe knew exactly when to leverage his advantage or gum up the works when at a disadvantage. He was a master at his craft and would love to have had the kind of advantage that Bakk would have if utilized properly.

Senator Bakk may be skillful at pragmatic negotiations, and I admire his staunch union stances, but he has not been a benefit to the general Democratic agenda. I have to question why he is still the leader in the Senate. And let me give you some reasons why...

First, he leads the Senate as a regional leader - not a state leader. I understand the needs of the Iron Range and I sympathize, but his stance on the environment and his willingness to push the Polymet mine, rubs a lot of Democrats the wrong way (and I am among them). He played some primary games with his own Senators in regards to that.

Second, he is NOT a team player. The House Democrats had a majority prior to the 2014 election and Bakk did nothing to help assure that majority. The Senate was not up for reelection and it seems that Bakk considered that a free pass for his own agenda. Which led to some end of session games that were detrimental to minimum wage and the House message. And this year, he has clearly acted against the wishes of his own popular governor.

Third, the MN Democratic agenda is only promoted when it supports or is neutral on the Bakk agenda. In this new budget, there are clearly too many environmental rollbacks. There is not enough emphasis on education. And tax breaks for the wealthy are not challenged enough. Bakk is the reason for all this. If he would stand shoulder to shoulder with his governor, the House would not have the leverage it has gained because of the weak Senate link that Bakk has created.

It is obvious that Bakk still has strong hold on his Democratic caucus. I get that, but don't fully understand the reasons. In a year when this was going to be a transportation session, the final bills do not even include transportation at all. That is a legislative failure. And Bakk is obviously a large part of that failure. And to put this on the agenda for 2016 - a full blown election year is very bad strategy. Republicans gain the upper hand once more.

I probably stand alone, but Tom Bakk should NOT be the Senate majority leader. If the Democratic policy agenda has any chance of moving forward in the future, then Tom Bakk has to go.
comments (0) permalink

Re: John Bolton and Running For President

Category: 2016
Posted: 05/15/15 09:11

by Dave Mindeman

Oh, by the way, did you know John Bolton is not running for President? If you say, "I didn't know he was thinking about it", you are not alone. And if you also say, "who the hell is John Bolton", you are also not alone.

Bolton is one of those neo-con crazies that espoused (and still espouses) the virtues of the Iraq War. He was undersecretary of state and an ambassador to the UN in the W years....and he is also a general all around jerk.

That Bolton would even have the cajones to think he could run for President shows how far gone the primary process is in the Republican Party. John Bolton should be a relic...a footnote in history. There is nothing he has to say that can possibly be relevant to today's foreign policy. Yet, there he is garnering a press conference for an announcement that tells us he has decided not to run.

If the 2016 election rehashes our participation in the Iraq War, the GOP is going to lose. Jeb Bush has opened the floodgates with his recent gaff on what he would have done in his brother's place. And the idea of John Bolton as a presidential candidate is further proof that Republicans have not come to terms with the greatest foreign policy mistake in history.

I'm kind of disappointed that John Bolton is NOT going to run for President. It would have been a constant primary reminder of GOP failures.

And besides....he had that big fluffy mustache. You can't run for President with a moustache.

It's a rule.

comments (0) permalink


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